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on hindsight on the route from calvi to porto

“It is easy to be wise after the event.” ―Arthur Conan Doyle

“Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, ‘It might have been.’” ―Kurt Vonnegut

In the villages and towns of Upper Corsica, it is there where time as a tourist passes. More care, I think, should be given to the journey between those villages and towns.

During a recent trip through Haute-Corse, around Cap Corse, several long drives warranted more consideration on my part.

Part of the problem is finding places to stay. Secondly, only after driving through them did I know where I could have paused and breathed or where I would have wanted to spend a day or two.

Today, there are four routes where I wished I had paused: 1) on the east coast, the route between Bastia and Macinaggio; on the west coast, the routes 2) between Centuri and Saint-Florent; 3) between L’Île-Rousse and Calvi; and 4) between Calvi and Porto.

Between Saint-Florent and L’Île-Rousse is the desert des Agriates, for example. It is not a desert filled with sand but the maquis bush, which is common on Corsica.

The issue with taking advantage of the drives is what to do with them. You want to stop, but where? The roads are narrow and sometimes the turn-outs are not available. Stopping anyway is not possible; that is a given. Too many curves, and thinking that no car will come is foolish.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

Taking photographs is an incentive. It is difficult in picturesque country to focus only on the road. A break is needed to relieve the tension.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

Two routes go from Calvi to Porto, one inland directly from Calvi on a route that passes by the airport and one along the coast and then inland, a route less traveled.

I am not familiar with the road to the airport. It is the one, however, that most cars take. The road, along the coast and then turning inland, twists often, and it is well paved and maintained, but then it changes: the road becomes rougher and more rural. Fewer cars appear. You feel like you are out in the middle of nowhere and start wondering what would happen if the car broke down.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

One of the joys is ascending a col, a pass, and stopping and looking back and then ahead to what will come.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

During another visit I would certainly stay at a small hotel called Auberge Ferayola. It is located on the route between Calvi and Porto and near the Réserve de Scandola. Isolated. Quiet. Rugged.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

Eventually, the drive to Porto comes to an end. The port and the tower appear. All is needed is a few more more bends in the road and descending to the junction where a turn to the right, while going south, leads to the port itself and many hotels.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

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